This month’s seed kit features Purple Top White Globe Turnips. To support our environment, seed kits are now available digitally. Scan the QR codes on the seed packets to download planting logs, delicious recipes, fun craft ideas, and coloring pages.
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
The classic American turnip! The smooth, rounded root averages 3 – 4 inches in diameter with bright purple above the soil line and white below. This versatile vegetable has a tangy taste and can be eaten fresh, roasted, or mashed. The tops, or leaves, make wonderful greens.
Culture: Direct sow. Plant 2 – 3 seeds every 1 – 2 inches, 1/2 inch deep in a well-drained, loamy soil mixture. Ideal soil temperature is between 55 – 75°F and ideal pH level is 6.0 – 6.8. Seeds will germinate in 3 – 14 days. Once seedlings are 4 inches in height, thin to one plant every 4 – 6 inches. Ensure plants receive full sun throughout the day.
Water: Keep soil moist, but not saturated. Turnips require around 1” of water per week, adjusting for temperature.
Harvest: Plants will reach maturity in 50 – 60 days and will be ready for harvest when roots reach 3 – 4 inches in diameter. Greens may be harvested once leaves have reached 3 inches in width. Turnip roots may be kept for 1 – 2 months in a refrigerator or root cellar. Greens should be eaten within a week from harvest.
More About Purple Top White Globe Turnips
The humble turnip has fed the world for millennia. A member of the mustard family, turnips originated in eastern Asia and migrated westward with trade. The turnip was in cultivation as a food crop for humans and livestock as early as 300 B.C.E. Relatively easy to grow and a great keeper, the turnip was generally consumed by the poorer families. In Ancient Rome, it was the vegetable of choice to throw at unpopular public figures!
Fun Fact: Turnips were the original Jack-O-Lanterns! In Ireland, turnips were hollowed out and carved with a scary face for the festival of Samhain, a forerunner of Halloween. Glowing embers were then placed inside the turnips, giving them an eerie appearance. When Irish immigrants arrived on the shores of North America and found the much larger pumpkin, it quickly supplanted the turnip and became the vegetable of choice for creating Jack-O-Lanterns.
Shalgam Ki Sabzi (Turnip Curry)
Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 2 c. turnips diced into cubes
- 2 tbsp. ghee or olive oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green chili pepper diced
- 1 tsp. garlic ginger paste
- ½ tsp. red chili powder
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- ½ tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- ¼ tsp. salt or to taste
- 2 tsp. cilantro chopped for garnish
- Wash turnips, cut off tops and bottoms, peel, and cut into cubes
- In a medium saucepan, heat ghee or olive oil. Add cumin seeds and sauté until crackling (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Add the diced onions and sauté until soft.
- Add in garlic ginger paste and diced green chilies. Sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Add diced turnips, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, sugar, and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add water, cover pot, and cook until fork tender (about 5 -10 minutes).
- Add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
Craft: Gardener’s Hand Scrub
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup castile soap (or dish soap)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 drops of clary sage essential oil (optional)
- Add lemon zest & chopped rosemary to the sugar and stir.
- Add castile soap or dish soap and mix together until you have a paste.
- Add 10 drops of sage essential oil. You may substitute it with tea tree oil or peppermint essential oil.
- Store in a sealable glass container. Scrub can be used for up to a week. Use it to scrub your hands after a day in the garden!